By Allan Powell
On Auckland anniversary weekend at Huntly and Te Rapa Placemakers Speedway was the 76th running of the New Zealand Midget Championship. This meeting was run on the Saturday and Sunday nights. Originally 38 cars had entered which included 2 American top Midget drivers Zach Daum and Spencer Bayston with Bayston the current 3NZ placegetter from last season. At this time Daum is the current Huntly 40 lap midget winner recently held at Huntly in December. The field also had the best midget drivers from throughout New Zealand. This included current 1NZ Michael Pickens, 2NZ Brad Mosen, Chris Mc Cutcheon, Brock Masovich, Daniel Thomas local racer Michael Brunt plus many more.
Friday night started as a practice night for the midgets and 11 cars took up this opportunity. With only a small number of cars the pace was pretty hot. After 2 rounds the practice was called off due to heavy black clouds, lightning and then rain. But to those that came down it was valuable track time to tune your car into the track.
Saturday night was the first of the qualifying for the 3 groups with 2 races each then a final heat on Sunday night.11A Shane Allach had motor issues and was out for the weekend which was a shame as Allach goes really well on the Huntly track. Top qualifying cars each of the 3 groups were Spencer Bayston with 2 wins, Zach Daum, Michael Pickens and 88C Jeremy Webb with a win each. Added to the Saturday nights racing was the Cooke Roofing Waikato Mini Sprints which was won by 2NZ Dean Cooper from Palmerston North.
Sunday night is the money night with the final heats for the midgets, repechage, pole shuffle and the 25lap final for the championshipI.It was so important to get into the top 8 as track position gives you a real shot at the championship. Top 4 for the final were Bayston, Daum, Mosen and 81s Michael Kendall. The track and towards the end of the nights racing was now very challenging for the drivers. Bayston took the lead at the start from Daum. Pickens was making his way from grid 8 upwards and making up places after each caution. The front cars were keeping their positions with Daum going after Bayston after each restart. Pickens was now up to challenging Kendall for 3rd spot which he took with 5 laps to go. As the last 5 laps run down Bayston was now gaining space on Daum to the 25 lap finish.The best 2 cars all weekend Bayston, and Daum showed their class with the new 2019 New Zealand Midget champion Spencer Bayston USA, 2nd Zach Duam USA, 3rd Michael Pickens and 4th Michael Kendall.
Second part of the huge Sunday nights racing was the round of the Burger King Pro Dirt Super Saloon series with 20 cars split into 3 groups. The Huntly round after the 20 lap final was won by 7M Brent Emmerson, 2nd 5B Steve Flynn, and 3rd 37M Steve Cowling. Just to add to the Sunday nights show was the Huntly Door Systems Waikato Stock Car championship as a lead up North Island Stock car championship. After 3 tough heats the defending 2018 Stock Car champ 7H Dave Moore went back to back for this sort after championship and victory. Second wasm 52H Sam Van Amsterdam and 3rd Sam’s brother 51H Ali Van Amsterdam.
This coming weekend on Friday and Saturday nights will be the North Island Stock Car Championship. This meeting so far has over 80 cars entered coming from throughout various tracks in the North Island. The top 2 cars in New Zealand have entered 1NZ Josh Prentice from Wellington and 2NZ Dion Mooney from Wanganui.Other top class cars with the 80 odd are 77P Scott Penn, 33S Tyler Walker, 513R Callum Flavell, 735A Keegan Orr, 992W Taylor Lampp just to mention a few. A big number of local cars will be out there to stop the visitors and keep the winner in Huntly. Just to name a few from Huntly are Dave Moore, Brett Aikin, Ali Van Amsterdam, Nevin Shrubb, Larry Henderson plus many more.
Added to the Friday night program will be the Waikato Mini Stock championship run over three heats. On Saturday night will be another huge night at Huntly with the Finals for the North Island Stock Cars, Waikato Saloon championship which has 2 groups and the new 30 lap Modified Silver Cup race with a top grid of Modifieds headed by Huntly hot shots Brad Lane, and Paul Hodson.
This is another meeting not to miss and more information like you Stock Car groups will all be on the Huntly Speedway website soon.